By benspyda 8 Comments
When a new game is released I tend to have a ritual. If I am unsure of a game, I go to Metacritic and look at the scores and maybe read a couple reviews. I then wait for the quicklook and make a judgement call whether I want this game. But I have come to realize that Metacritic reviews rarely sway me at all and I'm starting to wonder why I look at them. It's the core game concepts, gameplay trailers and quicklooks that sell me on a game 99% of the time.
I just ordered a copy of Dragon's Dogma despite the somewhat mixed reviews because everything about it looks like a game made for me (aka I love Dark Souls, Skyrim and Shadow of the Colossus). Similarly when borderlands came out it wasn't super well received but I bought it day one because an fps diablo sounded amazing and I wasn't disappointed (not that it received bad reviews, that's just the example that came to mind). I instantly bought Trials Evolution because that game looked addictively simple and fun not because it got a 90 on Metacritic, in fact I bought it before even looking at Metacritic. Conversely I haven't touched Fez, Journey or Minecraft despite the rave reviews because they just don't sound like my thing.
When it comes to Metacritic, obviously the least trustworthy part is the user reviews because lets face it, they are often just people trying to make a stand against DRM or developers hyping up their "totally awesome amazing great game dude". But it sucks because this would be the most useful information for a buyer. Professional reviewers tend to nitpick or hype up games beyond what they deserve to get hits, where as a legit user review can be the most truthful. But there lies the problem, decent legit user reviews are few and far between. Overall Metacritic doesn't seem to have any sway over my buying decisions but it worries me that their are possibly many who do.
Not that I haven't been tricked a few times, Jeff always gets me excited for Killzone games but when I play them I always feel swindled. And the hype of Rayman Origins got me to buy it but have yet to touch it because I'm not a huge platformer fan (I will try it at some point). I guess that's more of a Giant Bomb related thing, anything those guys say have unusual powers over me. Brad and Jeff's excitement for specific games in Quicklooks and on the Bombcast kind of inception thoughts into my brain.
I feel a major issue with most reviewers is that they can critique a game based on a lack of story or graphical glitches, when the core game could be super fun and addicting so it can be misleading. I find games generally sell me based on their core concepts and whether they appeal to me. What do you guys think?